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Cristiano Ronaldo Binance Lawsuit Will Likely Go to Trial After NFT Promotions

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • Plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit against football player Cristiano Ronaldo have asked a court to allow them to serve papers online.
  • They say that Ronaldo's residence is unknown after he transferred to a Saudi Arabian football league, making it challenging to serve him.
  • A digital asset lawyer says that the size of the case could drive parties to go to trial rather than agree to an out-of-court settlement.
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Plaintiffs against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Binance campaign have called for the footballer to be subpoenaed through social media. They say contacting the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star in Saudi Arabia is difficult.

The plaintiffs propose contacting Ronaldo over email and social media and publishing the documents related to the lawsuit on a website. Plaintiffs have said that The Hague Conventions don’t prohibit these methods of serving court papers. 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Residence is Unknown

The plaintiffs allege that Ronaldo’s whereabouts are unknown. His last known residence was at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center in Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo moved to Saudi Arabia after agreeing to a transfer to the Saudi Pro League from English Premier League football club Manchester United in January 2023.

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But the football star posts regularly on X, which suggests a court summons may reach him on this platform. The plaintiffs also suggest sending the court documents via email and through a custom website.

The parties filed a class-action lawsuit in Florida on November 27, 2023, claiming that Ronaldo “promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated” in the sale of unregistered securities. They claim Ronaldo’s endorsement of Binance lacked warnings about investing in cryptocurrencies. Binance partnered with Ronaldo in 2022 to promote an NFT collection chronicling his career.

Why the Ronaldo NFT Case Could Go to Trial

According to Jemma Fleetwood, a digital asset lawyer, Ronaldo could consult legal advisers and choose to settle. How long this will take is unknown, compounded by the delay in serving the summons. 

“Ronaldo will likely be discussing with his legal advisers whether the claim has legal merit, what his defence will be, and whether he should make an offer to settle the case. Given the level of damages claimed…The matter could eventually reach a trial where the parties would be required to publicly give evidence on the case,” Fleetwood advised.

The court may deny claims based on a lack of causation. Even though a celebrity advert would push someone toward buying, they don’t force anyone. 

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A court case suing celebrity endorsers Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather was dismissed, with the judge saying that investors should “act reasonably” despite the hype around crypto. Ronaldo may also say that his promotions were unrelated to Binance’s activities.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...